Pro-Russian demonstrators rally in eastern Ukraine (w/ video)Odessa, Ukraine (CNN) - In Ukraine, pro-Russian demonstrators stormed a police headquarters building, eventually winning their demand for the release of arrested activists. It happened in the city of Odessa, far from the eastern part of the country where most of the pro-Russia activity has taken place.
By: Phil Black, CNN
Odessa, Ukraine (CNN) - In Ukraine, pro-Russian demonstrators stormed a police headquarters building, eventually winning their demand for the release of arrested activists. It happened in the city of Odessa, far from the eastern part of the country where most of the pro-Russia activity has taken place.
Most of this crowd just stood in the rain and screamed, demanding freedom for the pro-Russian activists held inside the police station. But others wanted to break them out. They desperately attacked the building, smashing whatever they could - and the crowd cheered them on.
Eventually they broke through into the station's inner courtyard. The police didn't try to stop them, but the crowd was offered a deal: those detained would be released if everyone then went home.
Rage was suddenly replaced by joy. Alleged public enemies of the Ukrainian government walked free. Their chant: all for one, one for all. It was another victory for a violent crowd, yet another humiliation for the country's police.
These men are coming out of the building saying all the cell doors have been thrown open. They're being greeted as heroes. There are smiles, hugs, people are crying. It's all so different to what was happening here a few moments ago when this crowd was screaming Odessa will never forgive and never forget.
While these people celebrated the freedom of the living, another large gathering mourned the dead. This was outside the trade union building where pro-russian and pro-ukrainians clashed friday.
More than 40 were killed, mostly pro-Russians, as fire spread through the building. There was anger here too, but mostly grief. They cried openly for people they didn't know. The deaths here inspired Ukraine’s interim prime minister to come to Odessa, pleading for national unity.
Arseniy Yatsenyuk - Ukrainian Prime Minister: "This is the wakeup call for the entire country, for reconciliation. We need to realize that Russians want to eliminate our country and to kill our future."
His message is a tough sell in a city where so many now believe people who speak Russian are being killed and arrested by forces loyal to the Ukrainian government.